Since our founding in 2008, SIF has invested in meaningful social impact and poverty alleviation efforts around the world—promoting a spirit of international philanthropy rooted in Seattle, Washington. We are proud of the work we have done in the last decade to push for equity, promote rule of law, foster women and youth leadership, inform and inspire philanthropic strategies, support civil society and more. Each of these activities have taught us key lessons, which were pivotal to informing a new strategy developed in 2018 that will enable SIF to focus its resources entirely on Central America in the decade to come. We invite you to take a tour through SIF’s history by interacting with the timeline below.
The Seattle International Foundation has supported strategic grants to Central America since its inception. The beginning of 2018 marked a change of direction for SIF, with a readjustment of our strategic goal that aims for a more sustainable and effective international philanthropy in Central America. The Central America Grants Program supports programs and initiatives that advance good governance and rule of law, equity, address forced migration and displacement, while contributing to a strong and thriving civil society.
The Seattle International Foundation proudly hosted the Women of the World (WoW) breakfast for eight years to celebrate Washington State’s role in advancing the economic and legal rights of women and girls around the world. WoW brought together over 300 multi-sector leaders each year, and also honored grantees selected in SIF'S Global Grantmaking program. SIF shifted its strategy in 2018 to focus efforts entirely in Central America and as a result, SIF has passed on the Women of the World brand and baton to local partner, Global Washington. SIF continues to support WoW, just as it continues to support women and girls.
The Central America Donors Forum is the premier networking and learning space to advance philanthropy and development efforts in Central America. The Forum brings together hundreds of cross-sector leaders from dozens of countries to discuss priority issues and successful models of development, and explore co-investment for social impact. Events have been held in Antigua, Mexico City, Panama City, San Salvador, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
The Seattle International Foundation, in partnership with the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State, hosted Central American & Caribean women leaders for two weeks as part of the Mujeres Adelante exchange program. Delegations traveled first to Seattle, WA and then to Washington, DC to meet with various private and public institutions focused on the elimination and prevention of gender-based violence to enhance their knowledge around the latest strategies, service models, and public policies used to address violence against women.
The Seattle Ambassador Program was created to inspire and mobilize local residents to join in the fight against global poverty. Participants at partnering organizations entered a contest to become a Seattle Ambassador, and win a trip to see firsthand how our community is improving lives in Africa, Asia or Latin America. The program raised funds for and awareness about local nonprofits working on complex issues around the world.
The CAMY Fund, created in partnership with the Summit Foundation in 2014, supports young leaders in designing and implementing projects that improve the lives of young people in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Centroamérica Adelante is a prestigious and innovative leadership development program that supports high-impact leaders driving social change in Central America. In 2019, Centroamérica Adelante's third cohort will identify, strengthen and unite leaders working on the drivers of forced migration in the Northern Triangle.
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) honored Bill and Paula Clapp, the Seattle International Foundation's founders, with the prestigious Human Rights Award for their commitment to human rights and economic development in Central America.
The Tableau Foundation partnered with the Seattle International Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation to design and implement Tableau’s first international Data Fellowship to support fellows from Latin America with software training and financial resources to more effectively visualize data on the well-being of children in the region.
The Seattle International Foundation is the result of Bill and Paula Clapp’s desire to amplify the impact of international development out of the state of Washington over the course of 25 years.
The origins of the Foundation are rooted in 1994, when Bill Clapp, a prominent Seattle businessman, founded Global Partnerships to expand the opportunities for people living in poverty.